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US Cong Report Warns Indian Govt Over Handling of Farmers’ Protest

This report has been published by the US Congress’s autonomous service Congressional Research Service (CRS).

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden. File photo.
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The Indian government’s position on the ongoing farmers’ protest in the national capital region might be a challenge for the Biden administration as it shapes its Indo-Pacific policy with India as a key partner.

This report has been published by the US Congress’s non-partisan and autonomous research service Congressional Research Service (CRS) which has warned the Indian government of repercussions over the handling of farmers’ protests in India.

The report states that, “By some accounts, the crackdown on dissent has been excessive and reflective of a broader trend towards authoritarianism in India.”

A congressional aide confirmed that if CRS has published a report, it indicates that the ongoing farm protest might have generated some interest in the US Congress.

“India’s democracy and human rights record might present a challenge for Biden’s administration in formulating its policies towards India and the Indo-Pacific,” the report adds.

In February, Brad Sherman, Democratic lawmaker who co-chairs the House India Caucus, had said in a tweet, “I urge the Indian government to make sure the norms of democracy are maintained and that protesters are allowed to protest peaceably, and to have access to the internet and to journalists. All friends of India hope that the parties can reach an agreement."

Meanwhile, another congressional aide said that the report has been overestimated and should be worrying for India only in ‘theory’. The aide then described Saudi Arabia’s position, who, despite the report, got away even after being a serial violator of civic norms that denied democratic rights to its people and killed Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Earlier, in February, Biden’s state government had said that it encouraged and wanted a resolution to the agitation through a dialogue. “In general, the United States welcomes steps that would improve the efficiency of India’s markets and attract greater private sector investment,” the department said.

(With Inputs from Hindustan Times.)

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